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Friday Night Relaxer: Japanese Highball

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Call me stubborn, but I don’t like to follow seasonal trends. You won’t find me ditching the white-on-white attire after Labor Day or abandoning the Hawaiian shirts come October. And when it comes to seasonal drinking, you won’t find me drinking a spiked pumpkin latte or embracing cranberries and winterspice. A cocktail should be simple, easy to make and as boozy as can be, all of which applies to one of my favorite year-round drinks: the Japanese Highball.

Deceptively simple yet easy to master (if you have the patience), the Japanese Highball is one of the greatest cocktails created by mankind. If aliens came to visit Earth and I had the chance, the first thing I would present them as a representation of the human race would be a round of Japanese Highballs. I would say to them, “See we do have something to offer the universe.”

Made with an ounce and a half of Japanese single malt whisky and a healthy topper of seltzer water, the Japanese Highball is spritzy, boozy and luxuriously harmonious. Even though it’s a low ABV cocktail, it won’t keep you from tasting the beautiful perfection that is Japanese whisky. The dilution from the seltzer releases the malty fruitiness of the spirit and carries it to your palate on the fizz. Best of all, because the drink is primarily made of water, the cocktail works equally as well as your first of the night at 5 p.m. on a Friday and your last of the weekend.

Why not make yourself one now? Here’s how to make a Japanese Highball at home.

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